The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Environmental Groups Call on EPA to Ban Diesel Use in Fracking
National environmental groups called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ fluids, instead of issuing guidance for regulating the practice, following the agency’s release of draft guidance. Diesel is currently used in fracking chemical cocktails and poses serious risks to drinking water sources. EPA guidance is not enough to protect families from benzene and other highly toxic chemicals contaminating underground drinking water sources.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in the Halliburton Loophole—except when diesel is used. Recent Congressional investigations revealed diesel use in fracking fluids remains widespread. This EPA action provides guidance for using the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control Program to protect underground sources of drinking water. The EPA announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposal.
The use of diesel in fracking fluid is just one of many harmful industry practices that the government must clean up. Strong federal protections are needed to protect American families nationwide from all of the consequences of dirty fracking.
In response, leaders from the environmental organizations calling for a ban on diesel used in fracking, released the following statements:
“It’s no secret that diesel is dirty and dangerous, and belongs nowhere near our drinking water. But the natural gas industry has been using this dangerous fuel for fracking, showing once again that they cannot be trusted to police themselves. We urge the EPA to ban diesel fracking and keep Americans’ drinking water clean and safe.” –Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club
“We applaud EPA’s action and urge the Agency to use their authority to ban diesel use and to do whatever is necessary to protect precious underground drinking water sources from chemical contamination.” –Bob Wendelgass, president of Clean Water Action
“Diesel and drinking water don't mix. Congress recognized the hazards of diesel when they passed the Halliburton loophole to the Safe Drinking Water Act. We welcome EPA's action; it's time for the oil and gas industry to clean up their act.” –Jennifer Krill, executive director of Earthworks
“Diesel fuel is not critical to fracking—with the safety threats it poses, there is no sense in allowing it to be used. We need stronger safeguards on the books to protect American health and communities from diesel threats to clean drinking water and other risks associated with fracking.” –Amy Mall, senior policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council
“Nobody wants to drink diesel-infused tap water. That’s why the oil and gas industry needs to stop pumping diesel underground during fracking. The risk to drinking water sources is too high and the oil and gas industry’s track record is too dismal. The EPA can and must ban this reckless practice.” –Jessica Ennis, legislative representative for Earthjustice
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Beachgoers enjoying a pleasant evening on Georgia's St. Simons Island rushed into the water, despite warnings of sharks, to rescue dozens of short-finned pilot whales that washed ashore on Tuesday evening, according to the New York Times.
By Marlene Cimons
For nearly a century, scientists thought that malaria could only spread in places where it is really hot. That's because malaria is spread by a tiny parasite that infects mosquitoes, which then infect humans — and this parasite loves warm weather. In warmer climates, the parasite grows quickly inside the mosquito's body. But in cooler climates, the parasite develops so slowly that the mosquito will die before the it is fully grown.
A decade-long fight over the proposed construction of a giant telescope on a mountain considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians came to a head Wednesday when 33 elders were arrested for blocking the road to the summit, HuffPost Reported.